Character and Citizenship Education (CCE)
As one of our three strategic thrusts, character development remains a key mission of St Patrick’s School. Apart from adding value to the academic achievements of our students, we also aim to develop their character such that each Patrician becomes someone who is worthy of God and Man. Our department has approached this mission in a multi-pronged manner.
Some of the main components of Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) are:
Ø CCE and Religious CCE
Ø Education and Career Guidance
Ø Student Leadership and Development
Ø Our Mater’s Call
Religious Character and Citizenship Education
As a mission school, we continue to have differentiated learning for our Catholic students, namely Religious Character and Citizenship Education (RCCE). Twice a year, our Catholic teachers carry out religious lessons to ensure that our Catholic students are kept abreast with the teachings of the religion. Lessons include the investiture of the Brown Scapular and the Devotion to Our Lady. Every year, our Secondary 3 students go through a series of Inter-religious Talks conducted by partners from various religious organisations. The aim of these talks is to enable our students to better understand and appreciate each other’s culture and belief, so as to move them up in the stairway of respect, the respect given to our fellow Singaporeans, regardless of race and religion.
Education and Career Guidance
In line with the national Skills Future movement, the department continues to engage students in the area of Education and Career Guidance (ECG). Since 2016, the school has been privileged to have a cluster-based ECG Counsellor to help our students. Secondary Two and Four students had a scheduled small group session with the ECG Counsellor. The ECG Counsellor focused on using a self-evaluation tool to help Secondary Two students discover their individual interests. Students were also provided with information about what they need to achieve their dreams, including the subjects they need to choose. This is particularly pertinent considering they will be choosing their subject combination at the end of the year. For Secondary Four students, the ECG Counselling session focused on the different pathways available to the students which might be more relevant to individual students based on their learning styles and aspirations. These sessions aim to help kick-start conversations between the students and their parents as they decide on the pathway which best caters to the young gentleman moving towards his next stage of education.
Through the efforts of the ECG Counsellor, the school also had the opportunity to send many students to Work Attachment and Learning Journeys at various industries, such as Resorts World Sentosa, Shatec and the Healthcare Immersion Programme.
The ECG processes in St Patrick’s School highlight the importance of personal responsibility, as students are guided in making informed decisions which will aid them in achieving their goals. The school also looks into providing opportunities through different platforms to expose our students to various industries. Elective Modules (EMs) are held in school for students of the Normal Technical and Normal Academic streams. Students are also allowed to sign up for Advanced Elective Module (AEM), which are taught in various Polytechnics. This aims to provide hands-on learning opportunities in different fields and also to give students first-hand experience of Polytechnic education. This year, about a hundred students attended the AEM in June and November. Feedback from the students has been positive and the school will continue to provide such opportunities for them.
Student Leadership and Development
Guided by the school’s student leadership and development framework and The Leadership Challenge, the department looks at strengthening the leadership competencies of our students and develop them to become Patrician Leaders.
Attending Camp One LaSalle in Manila during the June holidays would be an eye-opener for our Secondary Three student leaders. This is an annual event in collaboration with our sister school in Manila, the De LaSalle Santiago Zobel School. During the five days in Manila, the student leaders were thoroughly steeped in service learning. They will participate in various Service Learning Projects, such as the End Hunger campaign, where they interacted with and served food to impoverished children; assisting in preparing a rural school for the new academic year as part of Brigada Eskwela; and helping out in Gawad Kalinga, the building of houses for families currently living in slums. While the camp was strenuous at times, it left a deep impact on the student leaders.
Our Secondary Two student leaders, meanwhile, attended our annual Patrician Leadership Training Camp, a three-day camp held in November meant to prepare them to take up senior leadership positions in Secondary Three.
Every year, the Secondary One and Two students will go through the student leadership module to allow them to know more about The Leadership Challenge.
We also organised other forms of leadership activities, such as “Castles can Fly”. They will be tasked to envision what St Patrick’s School would look like in twenty years time and to work together to create a massive sandcastle structure that reflected this vision. While the task was gruelling, the student leaders had fun working together and managed to build an impressive sand structure.
From 2017, we also launched the Patrician Leadership Dialogue, a series of talks which feature distinguished alumni imparting their life lessons to our student leaders. Our guest for the inaugural Dialogue was Brigadier-General (Ret.) Ishak Bin Ismail. His informative talk thoroughly engaged our Secondary Three student leaders and equipped them with a more holistic understanding of leadership beyond the school context.
Apart from getting our student leaders trained, the school also provides them with the opportunity of putting their training to practice. One such platform is the organisation and facilitation of the Secondary One Camp
Being cognisant of our Lasallian identity, we also organise the annual Camp LaSalle during the March holidays. About 80 primary school student leaders from all four Lasallian primary schools attended this camp, which was run and facilitated by our Secondary Two and Three student leaders. It was a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the bonds of solidarity within our Lasallian family.
Under the different Values-In-Action (VIA) projects for each level, we see students working together, spreading happiness to those in need, willing to be a friend to those who long for company and making a difference to the lives of those around them.
Under the school’s collaboration with Southeast CDC, a group of student leaders will take part in a few student-initiated VIA projects to impact the lives of the less fortunate.
Secondary 4 and 5 students gave back to the community with the different fundraising efforts, supporting the different causes for our VIA partners such as Jamiyah Children’s Home, Thye Hua Kwan Pan Disability centre, the elderly residents of Marine Parade and other voluntary welfare organisations. Our students distributed bread, baked muffins, food provisions. They also collected old clothes, bags and books, sold hotdogs and washed the teachers’ cars – all in the name of charity and goodwill!
We also have students from various CCA groups doing service to the community as well. This year, our Sports CCA work closely with Muhammadiyah Welfare Home and Lions Home for the Elders. Students from tennis and cricket impart the skills and knowledge they have learnt from their CCA to the boys from the Welfare Home. The VIA programme challenged the students’ ability to adapt to new environments and apply their soft skills through experiential learning.
Students from ELDDS, Basketball and Track & Field had their VIA programme at the Lions Home for the Elders. They planned their own activities that were table game friendly such as Bingo as the elderly from the home are mostly wheelchair bound. Students also took this opportunity to interact with the elderly and help to clean the home. The ELDDS boys planned a skit to entertain the elderly.
Students from the different uniformed groups go through the Elderly Befriending Programme with the elderly in Marine Parade, Geylang East Home for the Aged and Friends of Third Age. Students interacted with the elderly by playing Bingo, making terrarium, folding origami and even weaving ketupats together!
Design & Media and Infocomm Club members went through the Intergenerational Learning Programme (ILP) and went through a unique experience of intergenerational interaction by teaching the senior citizens from Fei Yue Family Service to take and edit photos and create a photo collage as their final product.
Through the different VIA activities, students learn to empathise with the less fortunate and work confidently with others of different backgrounds and social standing. Students also learn to be independent and at the same time thoughtful towards others. They learn the value of service and what it takes to give back to the community. They are more appreciative and grateful with what they have.
Our Mater’s Call
In developing the character of our students, the department makes use of a variety of platforms, from explicit teaching through CCE lessons, to creating awareness through this platform of Our Mater’s Call (OMC). OMC has been a platform used by the CCE Department for several years now and it explores current issues to bring about learning points to the students. Over the years, OMC has taken on various forms, from newsletters to campaigns to the most recent attempt at reaching out to the school community through short clips.
This year, OMC focuses a little more on creating awareness of important Lasallian events and the learning points behind these events. One of these events include the arrival of the first Lasallian brothers on the shores of Singapore in 1852, how that started the journey of the Lasallian brothers in Singapore and Malaysia and their impact on the education scene since then. Another event the OMC highlighted was the 1945 massacre of the Lasallian brothers in Manila, as part of our commemoration of Total Defence Day. In the second semester, OMC tapped on the Presidential Election to create a series of lessons on the Singaporean system of elected presidency as well as different systems around the world. OMC will continue to tap on opportunities to provide learning points to our students. With the school’s 85th Anniversary looming in 2018, the school can expect an OMC series highlighting this special occasion.
A new initiative in 2017, aimed at the staff, is the Teacher Feature, which showcases interviews with members of the staff who exemplify the 12 virtues of a Lasallian educator. Through reading these interviews, it is hoped that the staff can learn from their colleagues on how to live the 12 virtues in their work as Lasallian educators.